Audacity is a Free Software which can be downloaded.
“For many musicians, the cost of paying a professional sound engineer to record and produce a demo CD or demo tracks for an online talent profile is just too high. A much more affordable option is to learn a little about music production and recording techniques yourself and use your favorite tools on your computer to record your own music.
For some musicians, the process of recording yourself is a learning exercise, designed to let you know precisely what you sound like so you can improve your performance. But whatever your reason for recording yourself, it’s good to know a handful of decent techniques for the best free software available – and that software is Audacity.
Before you start recording, make sure you get the latest version of Audacity. Currently, it’s version 2.0.0 released in March 2012.
Prepare Your Recording Equipment
Before you make an audio recording, make sure you have researched a little about the best methods to record your instruments, including microphone placement and the best microphones to use. You may also wish to upgrade your sound card before you start recording. Finally, check your preferences in Audacity to ensure you are recording with the best quality possible.
In Audacity, recording voice or another instrument with a microphone is as simple as ensuring the microphone input is correct, pressing record and later pressing stop. This will record a single channel which shows as a wave form and can be edited individually.
Previously recorded backing instrumentation in most file formats can also be imported to Audacity (although you may wish to check the legalities of using them). The imported track will also have its own individual channel within Audacity.
Multi-Track Recording In Audacity
It is possible to record multiple channels at once in Audacity if you have the right gear and software to do so. For most amateurs though, this is just not feasible. Therefore, the simplest way to record multiple tracks is to do so one by one.
Start by importing a previously recorded track (or recording the whole band playing at once) which can be used to keep you all in time. Then record each instrument individually, ensuring the person playing has headphones, so they can hear the original track, but that it is not picked up by the microphones. In Audacity, ensure the “Overdub” selection is checked so that new tracks are generarated.
If a section of the recording is not quite right, it can be deleted from the track by highlighting and choosing Remove Audio > Silence Audio or Clip Boundaries > Split New. Don’t delete it or cut it as that will join the sections either side together and make the music out of time. A new track can be recorded to replace that section, starting just before the deleted part by clicking on the timeline bar.”
- Minting music: How to setup a DIY recording studio on your computer (digitaltrends.com)